New Delhi: Hours after bail formalities were completed, Jawaharlal Nehru University students Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya – arrested on sedition charges for allegedly raising anti-national slogans at the campus on February 9 – were released from Tihar jail on Friday evening.
The duo were released from the jail after a trial court in Delhi granted bail to the duo today. Additional sessions judge Reetesh Singh granted an interim bail for six months to Khalid and Bhattacharya saying "at this stage bail is made out."
Both the JNU students had sought bail on grounds of parity with co-accused Kanhaiya Kumar, JNUSU president who recently got bail in the case. Claiming innocence, they had also said that they have already been in custody for more than 20 days and they are not even required for custodial interrogation. They had said that they had not raised any anti-national slogans and video footages of them raising these slogans were "false and doctored".
The court observed that the "role attributed" to JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar does not appear to be different from the allegations levelled against these two accused.
The court also directed Umar and Anirban not to leave Delhi without its permission during the period of interim bail and to make themselves available before the investigating officer as and when required for the purpose of the probe.
In its 12-page order, the court said, "At the outset, it is to be kept in mind that co-accused Kanhaiya Kumar has been granted bail by the High Court".
Meanwhile, scores of JNU students today celebrated the news of six months interim bail to Khalid and Bhattacharya with holi colours and 'Azadi' chants.
Umar and Anirban facing a sedition case after a controversial event on JNU to mark the death anniversary of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru on February 9, had surrendered before the police on the intervening night of February 23-24, hours after the Delhi high court refused to grant them protection from arrest.